The portals of Sri Badrinath Temple were closed for winter at 3.16pm on 20 November 2018 with the usual grand ceremonial rituals and vedic chanting. According to data provided be the Chamoli Police Department, a total of 10,46,550 persons visited the shrine during the 2018 season. This is already a record, but the actual figures will be more.
It is a tradition here in Badrinath that young unmarried girls of the nearby Mana village will weave a woolen blanked on this day and present it to Lord Badrinath to keep him warm during the winter months when the temple is closed and covered in snow. When the shrine re-opens , usually in the month of May, the blanket is shredded during the opening ceremony and the strands are given as prasadam to the devotees who come for worship on that day. Local tradition is also that if you are present for the closing ceremony of the shrine, thent you must also be present for the opening ceremony in the following year.
Also closed on the same day were the temples of Mata Murti opposite Mana village and Bhavishya Badri above Tapoban. According to the puranas Mata Murti is the mother of Nar and Narayan, the two sages who are today standing senteniels of the Badrinath valley in the form of the Nar and Narayan peaks on either side of the valley. The full story of Mata Murti can be read here.